The 2014 World Cup boasts some impressive achievements. In the semifinal Germany v. Brazil match, German striker Miroslav Klose became the player with the most goals scored in the history of World Cup finals. Team USA’s Tim Howard won the achievement of most shots saved in one match against Belgium during the round of 16. And the list goes on…
Just as impressive, the World Cup also shattered records in social media. Since it began on June 12, over one billion Facebook posts, likes and comments have been generated about the World Cup. The 32-team group stage alone produced 300 million tweets, nearly double the amount of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. On Facebook, the World Cup final between Argentina and champions, Germany, surpassed last year’s Super Bowl, with more than 88 million users posting upwards of 280 million times. And, the July 8 match between Germany and Brazil was named Twitter’s single-most discussed sporting event of all time, with a whopping 35.6 million tweets – nearly 6,500 tweets per second for 92 minutes straight.
For social media marketers, the World Cup presented an opportunity for brands to connect with a global audience mesmerized with the drama unfolding on the field. Encore Alert, a company that tracks trends in social media, released a study comparing 18 brands using Twitter to leverage the World Cup, and success of the tactics they used. With such a deeply impassioned audience, it comes as no surprise that the study found that pre-crafted, corporate posts with few ties to the games fell flat, while content relevant to intense moments in play deeply resonated with them, leading to increased brand engagement.
One successful brand was Adidas. According to an article in AdAge, countless hours were spent harvesting unique content from across the globe to create an hour-by-hour “playbook” spanning the entire World Cup six months in advance of the inaugural game. The team defined the hashtag #allin to accompany their well-crafted content, which they catered to high stakes moments of each match. Their efforts resulted in Adidas being the most-talked about brand throughout the World Cup, with over 1.6 million tweets and retweets, mentions and replies. #allin has been used more than 570,000 times.
So, how can you make sure social media is advancing your brand to the next round of the tournament instead of scoring for the competition? Remember:
- Social media, like soccer, is a team effort. Whether you have a “star player” or not, every member of your team is important to help create exciting, original content for your followers – and potential new clients.
- Strategize by making a playbook. Sketching out a guide in advance will help keep you on track with overall goals, even if the work week gets hectic. But feel free to adjust content as needed.
- Don’t be afraid to think on your feet. Sometimes the best content is created on the spot. Social media is about expressing what is happening in a particular moment, so if you see a trend emerging and have something to say, say it.
- Define the conversation. Develop and use a compelling hashtag to drive discourse.
- Be #allin or nothing. A social media page with sparse activity works against you, not for you. Post frequently and stay relevant.
And don’t forget, we’re always here to help if and when you need it.